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“We don’t want broad language in a judge’s decision, which could lead to restrictions with sweeping effects on flight instruction, including the creation of barriers for owners of limited moved here category aircraft to receive training in their own airplanes.” Historically, limited category aircraft owners have paid instructors for training in their own aircraft just as they would in a standard category aircraft. However, the FAA’s broad arguments in this case assert that anyone flying limited category aircraft, including owners, must now have an exemption for any training involving compensation. The petitioner in this case did not have an exemption and believes he does not need one under his interpretation of the federal aviation regulations. His assertion is based on prior applicable FAA interpretations, the lack of any regulation that specifically prohibits training in limited category aircraft, and lack of a formal FAA policy announcement regarding exemptions being required for training. The FAA disagrees, and Warbird Adventures and its owner have exercised their right to elevate the case to federal court and ask the opinion of a judge. Limited category aircraft, like experimental aircraft, are prohibited from carrying “persons or property for compensation or hire” (FARs 91.315 and 91.319(a)(2)). The FAA argues this means that in order for an owner to charge money so that a nonowner can use a limited category aircraft in flight training, the aircraft’s operator must maintain an exemption. Some experimentals are eligible for a letter of deviation authority (LODA), which is discussed in the experimental category regulations, but there is no similar LODA provision in limited category regulations. The Living History Flight Experience program is available through an exemption process, and allows warbird operators to provide rides to the public in historic aircraft with no training element.


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